Questions for the Radiation Oncologist

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JDuke
JDuke Member Posts: 438
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Well I am looking for your feedback. I have an appointment tomorrow with the radiation oncologist to see what options are available for my liver met that is unresectable. Anal cancer metastases to the liver are pretty rare so I can't get too much information on that discussion board, hope you don't mind that I am asking here. I know that a lot of members here have had a lot of procedures for liver mets. Are there any particular questions that you would recommend that I ask her. I know they are looking at my previous records to see how much radiation I received to my pelvis with my original DX in '08. I did not realize that there are limits to the total amount you can receive until yesterday so I don't know how that will contribute to their plans. Thanking you in advance for anything you care to share on the subject.
Smiles,
Joanne

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  • kristasplace
    kristasplace Member Posts: 957 Member
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    Questions
    I would definitely talk to the rad onc about bone damage. I got really severe osteoporosis from radiation. It's so bad that i crack ribs a lot, and have a chronic sacral fracture. They keep telling me it's rare that this happened, but if there's any risk at all, they should be putting women on high doses of calcium, fossamax, or something preventative.

    There is definitely a lifetime limit to how much radiation you can have. Apparently i've had mine after the 30 zaps for rectal cancer. Also, watch out for a blocked urethra. They may not have to involve your bladder in the zappings, but if they do, be watchful if you're not peeing when you feel you need to. I waited too long and nearly burst my bladder!

    Good luck with your appointment, and let us know how it goes!

    Hugs,
    Krista
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
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    Rad Onc
    Joanne,

    Krista is right and offered good information. I would also add questions regarding sexual disfunction. Radiation can cause all sorts of issues that doctors are sometimes embarassed to bring up. I know it's awkward but forewarned is forearmed.

    Hugs,

    Kimby
  • JDuke
    JDuke Member Posts: 438
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    kimby said:

    Rad Onc
    Joanne,

    Krista is right and offered good information. I would also add questions regarding sexual disfunction. Radiation can cause all sorts of issues that doctors are sometimes embarassed to bring up. I know it's awkward but forewarned is forearmed.

    Hugs,

    Kimby

    Radiation
    would be to my liver this time, not my pelvis. I remember all too well the side effects of the pelvic radiation, some of which I still suffer with.
    Thanks,
    Joanne
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
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    JDuke said:

    Radiation
    would be to my liver this time, not my pelvis. I remember all too well the side effects of the pelvic radiation, some of which I still suffer with.
    Thanks,
    Joanne

    Radiation
    I was very lucky with my internal beam radiation. I've had very few side effects from it.

    I had my liver radiated (6 tumors - right lobe)a year ago. Not only did they turn necrotic, my last CT didn't show them at all. I wish you much success; time and hope.

    Hugs,

    Kimby
  • lizdeli
    lizdeli Member Posts: 569 Member
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    JDuke said:

    Radiation
    would be to my liver this time, not my pelvis. I remember all too well the side effects of the pelvic radiation, some of which I still suffer with.
    Thanks,
    Joanne

    Proton Radiation
    Joanne
    Ask the docs about proton radiation which is very targed and not to invasisve to healthy tissue. Heard about it at MD Anderson.
    Praying for you.
    Liz
  • JDuke
    JDuke Member Posts: 438
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    lizdeli said:

    Proton Radiation
    Joanne
    Ask the docs about proton radiation which is very targed and not to invasisve to healthy tissue. Heard about it at MD Anderson.
    Praying for you.
    Liz

    Proton
    Thanks Liz,
    I actually got an email last night from a girlfriend who suggested the same. There is a facility in Jacksonville, somehow affiliated with the Univ. of FL. Looks like it is directed at brain, pancreas, eye, spine. Doesn't mention liver, but I certainly will be inquiring about it. I appreciate the suggestion. Take care.
    Joanne
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
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    CyberKnife?
    Hi Joanne

    I was just going to suggest CyberKnife as it is a more precise, laser accurate, form of highly concentrated radiation given in 3-5 treatments. The recovery is quicker than external beam radiation.

    I can tell you have suffered with that form of radiation in the past - Me Too!

    The only problem with CyberKnife is that it would require a laproscopic procedure at the least to be able to put the "markers" in and around your liver for CyberKnife to detect and beam to. Mine was an open procedure but we were originally doing a liver resection until they discovered they could not - we moved quickly while I was sedated to RFA and while they were there they implanted the markers in case CyberKnife was needed - which it was.

    Right now, with external beam, they can just give you the "juice" without all of that prep. But I worry about the collateral damage that could be done to surrounding organs.

    I was not aware of limits either until I saw Krista's post - she had 30 and I had 25 of external beam and 3 more with CyberKnife - I must be nearly tapped out - mercifully.

    Will be looking for an update from you :)

    -Craig